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The Paleogene Cantua Sandstone Member of the Lodo Formation was deposited primarily by sand-rich, high-density sediment gravity flows fed by a submarine canyon into a structurally controlled, relatively deep-marine, basin bounded to the north, south, and east by shallow-marine shelves. The Cantua Sandstone probably represents, at least in part, the deep-water equivalent of the deltaic-neritic Gatchell sandstone which is an important petroleum reservoir at the East Coalinga Extension Field (Ryall, 1974; Graham and Berry, 1979; Harun, 1984). Graham and Berry (1979) interpreted portions of the Cantua in the subsurface to be “supra-fan” deposits. Nilsen (1981) interpreted outcrops of the Cantua Sandstone as dominantly “supra-fan” and middlefan channel deposits. These general characteristics and interpretations serve as a basis for classifying the Cantua Sandstone as a sand-rich, point-sourced submarine fan (Reading and Richards, 1994). It is important to note, however, that the morphologic term fan is probably not applicable to the Cantua Sandstone system because it was deposited in a confined, rather than unconfined, basin.

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